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Deer Creek to Tapeats Creek Trail, AZ

Guide 21 Triplogs  1 Topic
  4.2 of 5 
239 21 1
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 3.29 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,311 feet
Elevation Gain 329 feet
Accumulated Gain 617 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 5.35
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Perennial Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
Dogs not allowed
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30  2019-11-09
Bill Hall Trail
30  2018-04-15
Grand Canyon River Running
8  2016-10-28
Deer Creek - Tapeats - Thunder River Loop
20  2016-10-12
Bill Hall Trail
65  2016-04-09
Grand Canyon River Running
15  2015-10-28
Thunder River / Deer Creek Loop
44  2015-10-26
Deer Creek / Thunder River AZ
69  2015-10-09
Thunder River / Deer Creek Loop
Page 1,  2,  3
Author chumley
author avatar Guides 80
Routes 687
Photos 15,478
Trips 1,583 map ( 11,772 miles )
Age 48 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Feb, Mar, Jan → Early
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:23am - 7:30pm
Official Route
4 Alternative

River Walk
by chumley

This is a regularly used route that connects Deer Creek Camp (AX7) with Lower Tapeats Creek (AW8). It is not a maintained trail and involves scrambling, short climbs, and loose footing on steep rocky slopes.

This guide explains the route from west to east but can just as easily be traveled from Tapeats to Deer Creek.

The hike begins by crossing to the east side of Deer Creek just above the "Patio". Cairns mark the well-worn route up a steady 300-foot ascent to a saddle in the first .025 miles. The next 0.25 miles descends 200 feet before crossing a drainage and leveling out. (Along the way, you pass a cairned junction for a more precarious route that parallels this route a couple of hundred feet lower along cliffs just above the river.)

The next 1.25 miles is a reasonably steady traverse with expansive views of the canyon while making its way around a couple of small drainages before dropping steeply back to the river at the 2-mile mark. (This is also where the lower route re-joins this route).

The remaining 1.25 miles of the route crosses various terrain: deep sand, river rock, and typical inner-canyon rocky terrain. At the 2.75 mile mark, the route passes Bonita Creek and requires a steep climb up a loose slope. Shortly before arriving at the mouth of Tapeats Creek, you pass an open campsite (AM9) along the Colorado River before reaching the designated camp at Lower Tapeats (AW8).

East of the creek is a boat beach where rafters often park for day hikes to Thunder River.

All overnight use in Grand Canyon National Park requires a permit obtainable from the Backcountry Office. Designated camps are available at both ends of this route, and dispersed camping permits are available along the river. Rafters may day-hike this route without an additional permit.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2014-10-21 chumley
  • Grand Canyon Use Area Boundaries - Dynamic Map

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Map Drive
Connector trail - Not Applicable

To hike
This route begins at the Deer Creek Patio. Alternately it can be hiked in reverse from the mouth of Tapeats Creek.
page created by chumley on Oct 21 2014 10:53 am
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